A Sand County Almanac


Aldo Leopold

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on A Sand County Almanac makes teaching easy.

A Sand County Almanac Terms


A genus of flowers that grows in Wisconsin. Leopold often refers to the draba as a single flower, when in fact the genus contains over four hundred species. read analysis of Draba

Cheat Grass

A prickly grass native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, it sprang up as an invasive species in the American Midwest after overgrazing destroyed the native flora. read analysis of Cheat Grass

Bur Oak

An oak tree common in North America. It has thick, cork-like bark that makes it resistant to prairie fires. read analysis of Bur Oak


A North American coniferous tree. Its needles turn yellow in the autumn, and Leopold writes about the unparalleled beauty of the experience of hunting grouse among the falling needles of the Tamarack. read analysis of Tamarack


The very tip of a tree, which determines how it will grow. Also known as a meristem. read analysis of Candle
Get the entire A Sand County Almanac LitChart as a printable PDF.
A Sand County Almanac PDF

Passenger Pigeon

A now extinct breed of North American pigeon. Once extraordinarily common, it was hunted to extinction in the 19th century. read analysis of Passenger Pigeon

Peat Bog

A bog is a type of wetland. A peat bog specifically is a wetland that contains layers of decomposed plant matter, or peat. They are notable for their biodiversity. read analysis of Peat Bog


A game bird common across the Northern Hemisphere. read analysis of Grouse


A river ecosystem in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico. read analysis of Gavilan

Split-Rail Value

A term coined by Leopold. This refers to a set of values that can be practiced by partaking in any activity that reminds a person of the past, and a time when people were… read analysis of Split-Rail Value

Man-Earth Experiences

A term coined by Leopold. This refers to any set of experiences that reminds a person of their place in the natural ecosystem with its interconnected community of life. read analysis of Man-Earth Experiences


A term repurposed by Leopold. He defines sportsmanship as any voluntary behaviors that limit a person’s use of mechanical technology in favor of a more primitive technology that requires greater skill. For example, Leopold… read analysis of Sportsmanship

Land Ethic

A philosophical term invented by Leopold. He believes that human beings should treat the land ethically. That is, he believes humans should see themselves as part of a community, and include the land itself… read analysis of Land Ethic


The act of protecting or restoring the natural environment. People who conserve are called conservationists. Leopold compares the act of conserving the land to a friendship. It requires loving the land and all its many… read analysis of Conservation

Land Pyramid

A visualization of the ecosystem that places soil on the bottom, then plants, then herbivores, then omnivores, and finally, at the top, apex predators. Leopold has invented this visualization in the hopes that picturing the… read analysis of Land Pyramid


Leopold defines the wilderness as “the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization.” Wilderness varies depending on its location, its flora, and its fauna, but all wildernesses are necessarily untouched… read analysis of Wilderness